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  • Jonathan Widran


The Girl from Ipanema never had it so good, sashayed so beautifully or danced in the balmy sunshine so long. Attributed to Brazilian guitar master Carlos Barbosa-Lima but in essence a soulful and intricate duet project with fellow guitarist, duo partner and co-producer Larry Del Casale, Delicado is a carioca’s dream, an exuberant, rhythmically intoxicating celebration of Brazilian culture and music by an ensemble of Rio natives nonpareil.

Though very much a contemporary ensemble work featuring the infectious rhythm section of Duduka Da Fonseca (percussion), Nilson Matta (bass) and Helio Alves (piano), the openminded listener feels time- transported to some of the culture’s touchstones of the 20th Century via fresh, thoughtful explorations of classic compositions like Zequinha de Abreu (“Tico Tico”), Waldyr Azevedo (“Delicado”), Joao Pernambuco (“Interrogando”), Baden Powell (“Canto de Ossanha”) and many others.

Luiz Bonfa, a dear friend of Barbosa-Lima since the latter was nine years old, is well represented by the folksy and lyrical “Sambolero” and two classic tracks from the 1959 Brazilian film “Black Orpheus” – the quirky, soundscape rich “Samba de Orfeu” and the sensually rendered “Manha De Canival.” Naturally, Antonio Carlos Jobim is also well-represented, with Barbosa-Lima finding dynamic and graceful new vistas for “A Felicidad,” “Samba do Aviao” and “Eu Nao Existo Voce.” Truly a masterwork of modern-day Brazilian guitar!

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